Les Paul: Inventor, Musician, Educator, Legend

Les Paul was an inventor, an award-winning musician, an innovator and a creative genius. Like Thomas Edison or Steve Jobs changed their worlds, Les Paul changed the world of music. He was the creator of the solid-body electric guitar, multi-track recording, echo, over-dubbing and other musical technologies. Les never stopped exploring and his curiosity led to innovations that musicians still use today. He is known as the “Father of Modern Music” and the “Wizard of Waukesha.” Famous musicians, producers and engineers alike owe their careers to Les Paul and to this day, pay homage to him. Every time we hear an electric guitar shred or download our favorite music, we owe it to Les Paul. 

The Inventor

Acclaimed as the “Father of Modern Music”, Les Paul is known for numerous inventions that changed both the individual lives of musicians and the mechanics of the music industry in the twentieth century. His influence is still profound, having been a pioneer in the development of the solid-body electric guitar as well as numerous techniques including multi-track recording, digital delay, reverb, and more.

The Musician

Les Paul’s technological wizardry and inventions transformed the music industry. His legacy as a consummate musician has had a global impact on countless artists from Paul McCartney, Eddie Van Halen, and Slash to Bing Crosby, Tony Bennett, and Chet Atkins. Les’ musical technique and virtuosic playing extended across all genres including jazz, country, R&B, and Rock. His multi-generational influence and contributions speak to his status as a legendary artist.

Education

Les Paul created the Les Paul Foundation in 1995 to extend his spirit of innovation through grants to educational organizations and institutions including, Little Kids Rock, Soulsville Foundation/Stax Music Academy, Notes for Notes, Guitars For Vets, and many others.

The Foundation

The Les Paul Foundation inspires innovative and creative thinking by sharing the legacy of Les Paul through support of music education, recording, innovation and medical research related to hearing. It’s also a great resource for anyone wanting to learn more about the Wizard of Waukesha. Click here to see the list of our grantees and to apply for grants.

Latest News

Rest in Peace Al Schmitt

Rest in Peace Al Schmitt

Al Schmitt, a renowned recording producer/engineer with a litany of accolades and accomplishments over the course of his massively influential career, has died at the age of 91, it was reported by various outlets on Tuesday, noting that Schmitt passed Monday evening....

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PREMIER Guitar: All Roads Lead to Les

PREMIER Guitar: All Roads Lead to Les

It’s impossible to imagine modern music without Les Paul’s monumental contributions. It’s not hyperbole to say that he’s the father of multitrack recording. His pioneering work on the electric guitar itself is legendary. After all, is there a more famous signature...

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Lou Pallo – R.I.P. Friend

Lou Pallo – R.I.P. Friend

All of us at the Les Paul Foundation are deeply saddened by the passing of our friend Lou Pallo. With grace and style, an extraordinary talent and smiles that would light up a room, Lou was always there for Les. He is admired by many of the world's greatest musicians...

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